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Transaction Analysis: Carp's the Winner in Seattle

Ryan Arbour

Ryan Arbour writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire.

Here's a look at the transactions this week that had the most important fantasy impact.



Justin Smoak, 1B -
placed on the 15-day DL (nose)
Wily Mo Pena, OF - contract selected from Triple-A Tacoma

Impact: Smoak has been one of Seattle's top run producers this season, though that's not saying much. On a team that ranks dead last in the majors in almost every offensive category, Smoak is second on the team in home runs (12) and RBI (44) and fourth in runs scored (30). His fantasy value has been minimal, thanks to a pitiful .220 batting average and no stolen bases to go with his aforementioned less-than-impressive numbers. Mike Carp will play first base while Smoak recovers from a non-displaced fracture of his nose, an injury that is expected to keep him out no longer than 15 days. Carp has been on fire since he was recalled after the All-Star break and is hitting .326 with six home runs and 26 RBI in just 39 games through Monday. He should return to left field and DH once Smoak returns. In the meantime, Casper Wells and Trayvon Robinson will man left field while journeyman outfielder Pena is the designated hitter. Wells and Robinson are intriguing fantasy options if they can continue to get regular playing time, but Pena isn't likely to be worth a look in most leagues.


Chris Davis, 1B -
placed on the 15-day DL (shoulder)
Brian Matusz, LHP - recalled from Triple-A Norfolk

Impact: The O's picked up Davis to be their regular first baseman after they shipped Derrek Lee to the Pirates. His season might have ended prematurely, as he has suffered a tear in his right shoulder. In 10 games, he hit .225 with one home run and three RBI, and has yet to live up to his huge potential. Mark Reynolds moves over from third to handle the first-base duties, giving Josh Bell a chance for regular at-bats at third. Bell has shown some power in the minors, but has not impressed with the bat so far in his young major league career. Matusz was a decent starter last season, but got off to a rough start this year, going 1-4 with an ERA of 8.77 through six starts. Aside from deep leagues and keeper leagues, he's probably not worth a spot on most rosters.

Red Sox

Kevin Youkilis, 3B -
placed on the 15-day DL (back)
Ryan Lavarnway, C-DH - contract purchased from Triple-A Pawtucket

Impact: Youk has been suffering from a sore back, so the Red Sox opted to give him a couple of weeks off to recover. He's having another productive season at the plate, despite seeing his average drop to .266. Jed Lowrie, Mike Aviles and Marco Scutaro should share playing time at third base and shortstop while Varitek is out. Lavarnway has been tearing up minor league pitching this year and will get some playing time at DH while David Ortiz recovers from bursitis in his heel.


Delmon Young, LF -
acquired from Minnesota for LHP Cole Nelson and RHP Lester Oliveros
Will Rhymes, 2B - optioned to Triple-A Toledo

Impact: Young's 2011 season has been a far cry from last year, when he drove in 112 runs for Minnesota. Nevertheless, he still has some pop in his bat, as he hit .266 in 84 games with the Twins this year before being dealt to Detroit. His acquisition will cut into the playing time of Magglio Ordonez, who is having the worst season of his career by far. Ordonez brought a career average of .312 into the 2011 season and has struggled to a paltry .228 mark through Monday. With Young, Brennan Boesch and Austin Jackson earning regular playing time in the outfield and with Victor Martinez cemented as the team's DH, there likely won't be many at-bats available for the struggling 37-year-old. Rhymes was recalled from Triple-A and appeared as a pinch runner Sunday, before being sent right back down to the minors.


Denard Span, OF
placed on the 15-day DL (concussion)
Luke Hughes, IF - recalled from Triple-A Rochester

Impact: The injury-riddled Twins placed their center fielder on the DL due to symptoms stemming from a concussion that he sustained June 3. With Michael Cuddyer (neck) and Matt Tolbert (wrist) also suffering from injuries, Minnesota needed to make a move to give it an extra player off the bench. Ben Revere will man center while Span is out, with Rene Tosoni also receiving extra playing time in the outfield. Revere has been a good source of stolen bases this season, but Tosoni has done little so far to make him worthy of rostering in most fantasy leagues. Hughes has been uninimpressive at the plate this season and is likely to be used in a backup role.

White Sox

A.J. Pierzynski, C -
placed on the 15-day DL (wrist)
Donny Lucy, C - contract selected from Triple-A Charlotte

Impact: The 34-year-old Pierzynski has landed on the DL for the first time in his career due to a hairline fracture in his left wrist. He suffered the injury when he was hit by a pitch Friday, and it is possible that he may require surgery. He has been a fairly consistent offensive performer over his career, posting a .285 average in almost 1,500 games. Tyler Flowers will now get most of the starts behind the plate. He has some power and could do well in hitter-friendly U.S. Cellular Field. Lucy will serve as his backup.



Tommy Hanson, RHP -
placed on the 15-day DL (shoulder)
Brian McCann, C - activated from the 15-day DL

Impact: Hanson has helped out his fantasy owners this year by posting an impressive strikeout rate of 9.83 per nine innings and an 11-7 record. He has given up a career-high 17 long balls, which has bloated his ERA to 3.60, but his WHIP is in line with last season. He'll miss a couple of weeks due to tendinitis in his right shoulder. Randall Delgado was stellar as he took over Hanson's turn in the rotation Tuesday, but was sent back to Triple-A after the game. Jair Jurrjens was then activated from the DL to replace him on the roster and in the rotation. Jurrjens has been great this season, going 12-4 with a 2.63 ERA. McCann has been the Braves' best hitter, hitting .306 with 18 home runs and 55 RBI before a strained oblique shut him down for just more than two weeks.


Carlos Beltran, RF -
placed on the 15-day DL (hand)
Miguel Tejada, IF - activated from the 15-day DL

Impact: Just a few weeks after being traded to the Giants from the Mets, Beltran has landed on the DL with a strained right hand. The slugging outfielder is no stranger to injuries, as he hasn't played a full season since 2008. Nevertheless, he has put up some good offensive numbers this season, and his latest injury isn't expected to keep him out much longer than 15 days. Nate Schierholz should be the regular in right field in the meantime, though he's currently listed as day-to-day after fouling a pitch off of his foot Monday. Tejada is clearly in the twilight of his career, as his numbers have slipped drastically the last couple seasons. He should be used in a backup role, with Pablo Sandoval and Orlando Cabrera getting the majority of the playing time at third and short, respectively.


Placido Polanco, 3B -
placed on the 15-day DL (hernia)
Michael Schwimer, RHP - contract selected from Triple-A Lehigh Valley

Impact: Polanco is usually a one-dimensional fantasy player, as he tends to hit for a high average while producing little in the other standard fantasy categories. This season has been more of the same, as he's hit a solid .275 while homering just four times and stealing only three bases with just 35 runs scored and 40 RBI. He's been diagnosed with a sports hernia, though he's ruled out surgery until after the season. In the meantime, he'll sit for at least a couple of weeks before possibly attempting to play through the injury to finish the year. His doctors have told him that the condition is manageable, but it would be hard to imagine it not affecting his on-field performance. Michael Martinez and Wilson Valdez will share the third-base duties, but neither player is likely to perform well enough with the bat to help out a fantasy team. Schwimer has pitched very well at Triple-A this season (9-1, 1.88 ERA), but isn't a likely candidate to pick up saves at this point.


Jose Tabata, LF -
activated from the 15-day DL
Pedro Alvarez, 3B - optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis

Impact: Tabata is a young speedster who can hit for a good average while scoring a lot of runs and stealing some bases. He missed almost two months with a strained left quadriceps, but he returned to action on Tuesday as the Pirates' leadoff hitter. Pittsburgh's outfield is crowded with Tabata, Andrew McCutchen, Ryan Ludwick and Xavier Paul vying for playing time. With McCutchen assured of a spot in the lineup on a daily basis, the other three could rotate in and out of the lineup. Alvarez has struggled mightily at the plate this season, failing to top the .200 mark in batting average in almost 200 at-bats.